Five Basic Human Needs

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What if you were told you that one of mankind’s most essential needs for survival was being controlled and manipulated more than you can imagine? There are five basic human needs that we require as humans on earth to sustain life. The five are oxygen, water, food, sleep, and shelter (Sleight, 2014). For the purpose of this paper, food will be the primary focus. Americans know food very well. According to the US Department of Agriculture, in 2011, the average American consumed one ton or 1,996 pounds of food that year (Dosomething.org). To put that figure in perspective, most female giraffes weigh less than 1,900 pounds (nationalgeographic.com). The same study showed that 632 pounds were dairy products, 415 pounds were vegetables, 273 pounds …show more content…
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that from 2009 through 2010, more than 33 percent of Americans were diagnosed as obese (CDC.gov). These are alarming numbers and should be taken seriously. Some argue that people have the ability to make their own food choices, so if they choose to eat junk food versus healthier options, then that’s their problem. Do we really have the freedom to eat anything we want? The International Food Information Council Foundation found in 2014 that 90 percent of Americans were basing their food and beverage purchases on taste. In that same year, 73 percent of the same population made their selections based on price (foodinsight.org). Taste and price are huge factors when it comes to how we eat. While this may not be too shocking, it paints a vivid picture of why Americans are so overweight. The food industry is well aware of these statistics. Big food corporations dedicate large portions of their budgets towards researching consumer habits and developing products that fit the criteria. However when it comes to food, things are a bit different than the simple rules of supply and …show more content…
There are a handful of companies that are dominating the American Food Industry. In 30 categories of groceries, 70 percent of the sales were made by four of fewer companies (truth-out.org). Companies like Coca-Cola, Nestle, Pepsi, Kraft, Mars, and Kellog’s to name a few, have a stronghold over a variety of different products we purchase regularly. Everything from breakfast foods to baby formula and everything in between has a good chance of being owned by the top few players. These conglomerate companies have enough money to develop or simply buy smaller niche companies in order to expand their footprint and increase revenues. For example, if Group Danone, wants to break into the organic foods market, they can simply purchase an already thriving organic foods company. In 2001 Danone purchased a 40 percent stake in Stonyfield Farms, a company which was doing very well producing organic yogurt and other health mindful products (naturalproductinsider.com). The growing organic food demand combined with Stonyfield’s success caught the eye of Group Danone. While this may seem like a step in the right direction, one may argue that the only motivation to trend towards healthier foods is due to the huge profits that lie

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